OCEAN MARINE SOLUTIONS: THE UNSUNG HERO OF NIGERIA’S STABLE ECONOMY BY CYPRAIN UBOSI

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FREEPRESS – Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Over the years, Nigeria has also emerged as Africa’s largest economy, with a GDP worth $481.07 billion in 2015. Historically, the risk within Nigeria’s economic growth has been that income and revenues have been tied to the exploitation of her natural resource, with the oil and natural gas primarily located in the Niger Delta region.

Since when crude oil was first discovered in Oloibiri, in Bayelsa State, in 1956, the Niger Delta region has played a critical role in the economics, politics and security of Nigeria. The obvious reality has led to the emergence of the politics of oil and agitation which often degenerates to criminality. As always, the hydrocarbon revenues remain the mainstays of Nigeria economy, accounting for roughly 80% of the nation’s income and 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Despite its huge potential in terms of socio-economic development, Nigeria’s oil assets have historically been a major source of internal instability, perpetuating structural inequalities and militant violence. For several years, the activities of oil producing companies coupled with the hazardous, effect on the host communities have resulted in widespread agitation and protest which led to paralysis of production. Matters were made worse with oil theft and all gave rise to inequality, widespread poverty and aggravated social tensions.

The result has been problematic in the Niger Delta, where local communities have been increasingly marginalised and excluded from active participation in the oil industry, thus turning the region into a hotbed of political opposition, social mobilisation, and militarised insurgency. Since the late 1990s, the chronic character of conflict in the Niger Delta has been further exacerbated by the increasing militarisation of the region.

The tide gradually changed for good with the invitation of Ocean Marine Solutions, an indigenous high seas hi-tech security company. Equipped with the latest cutting edge technology, OMS soon developed tailored solutions to safeguard Nigeria’s crude oil assets. With a fleet of 42 purpose-built patrol boats, which are fully audited and approved by the Nigerian Navy, OMS is able to carry out pre-emptive and full situation analysis with the ultimate goal to enhance protection of assets in land and water.

Ocean Marine Solutions is an accredited and highly respected Nigerian maritime security solutions provider. With offices at key strategic locations in Port Harcourt, Warri and Lagos, Ocean Marine Solutions provide vital static asset protection to the Oil and Gas industry and much-needed escort and mobile services for commercial vessels transiting through Nigerian water and Gulf of Guinea.

Ocean Marine Solutions have been conducting support operations since 2007 and hold a 100% safety record. Ocean Marine Solutions holds a full MoU essential for providing security services in Nigerian Water and the Gulf of Guinea and uniquely operates in Partnership with the Nigerian Navy (NN).

Operation hubs in Port Harcourt, Warri & Lagos are managed by trained security specialists, both local and expatriate, who have extensive experience in the maritime security sector. These hubs are manned round the clock by OMS watch-keepers that are equipped with dedicated Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology, VHF, HF and Satellite Systems, ensuring communications and continuous situational awareness of all our maritime operations and assets.

Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) provides service for vessels that require a dedicated and compliant maritime security solution with the aide of multiple armed Patrol Boats (PBs), which enforce a Maritime Exclusion Zone (MEZ) around the anchored vessels to interdict and deter potential threats.

Arguably, the activities of OMS may have impacted positively on the nation’s economy, as Nigeria’s crude oil and gas export appreciated by 9.56 percent to N4.7 trillion in the third quarter of 2018, from N4.285 trillion recorded in the second quarter of 2018.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its Third Quarter 2018 Foreign Trade Statistics, also stated that the third quarter crude oil and gas export represented an appreciation of 34.3 percent from N3.48 trillion recorded in the third quarter of 2017.

In its month-on-month analysis of oil export, the report stated that in July 2018, N1.299 trillion and N159.025 billion was recorded as export for crude oil and other petroleum oil products respectively; for August and N1.35 trillion and N184.56 billion was recorded as export for crude oil and other petroleum oil products; while N1.5 trillion worth of crude oil and N200.07 billion worth of other petroleum oil products were exported in September 2018.

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